We all know Marco Reus is good, but do we know just how good the Borussia Dortmund attacker is? Spoiler alert: probably not. Given his injury-enforced absence in recent weeks, his influence on the side has become all the clearer.
The 29-year-old was made captain by head coach Lucien Favre at the beginning of the season and started 19 of the club's first 20 Bundesliga games. After Matchday 20, Reus had registered 13 goals, six assists and BVB were seven points clear at the top of the table.
Since then, however, Dortmund have struggled for form and momentum. Yes, Reus has only missed three league fixtures this term – compared to missing 34 over the last two campaigns – but his absence has been telling even in such a small period of time since sustaining a groin injury in the DFB Cup loss to Werder Bremen on 5 February.
Watch: How Reus orchestrates Dortmund's attacks
Dortmund have won one and drawn two Bundesliga assignments without Reus in the side, earning an average of 1.7 points per game. With Reus in the side, BVB have won 14, drawn four and lost one, giving them an average of 2.4 points per game.
That dip in points is a logical consequence of a dip in terms of chances created and goals scored. Reus has had 18 clear-cut opportunities in the Bundesliga this term, almost half of the 42 the team carved out in the 19 games he started. That average of 2.2 big chances per match drops to 0.67 when he is not in the side.
Naturally enough, then, fewer chances means fewer goals. BVB have hit the net 50 times with Reus in the team this season (2.63 goals per game), but only four times in three outings without him (1.33 per game).
Dortmund are yet to win in February and are without a goal in their last two competitive matches – a 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Champions League and a 0-0 draw with Nuremberg.
And while Favre's side are far from being one-trick ponies, with Jadon Sancho, Paco Alcacer and Raphael Guerreiro, to name but a few, all menacing in the final third, there is no escaping the fact that Reus' return will be a welcome one.
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